Circulation Policies

Clemson University Libraries practices the open stack method of operation with most materials available for use by anyone within the Libraries. The Libraries provide loan privileges to students, faculty, staff, community, and alumni patrons with a valid Clemson University identification card.

Loan Periods, Renewals, and Recalls

Please refer to our Borrowing Privileges for all loan period and renewal information. These policies are determined to maximize availability and the support of Clemson University’s mission. Technology items cannot be renewed, but renewal of most other items can be requested by using My Account, contacting a Libraries service desk, or contacting Interlibrary Loan for applicable materials prior to the item’s assigned due date. Renewal requests are not guaranteed and are dependent upon other patron requests and institution needs. If there are extenuating circumstances preventing timely return, please contact the Libraries before the item becomes overdue.

Borrowers are guaranteed a two week loan period for books and media, but after that these items are subject to recall to meet the needs of other patrons. Patrons will receive a recall communication from the Libraries, and those that do not return recalled materials by the newly assigned due date are blocked from circulation privileges and students and community patrons will be charged a $1.00 per day late fee. Materials needed for Course Reserve take precedence over other requests and recalls. In this event, patrons will be notified that the item(s) requested is being placed on reserve.

Technology Collections

All patrons must have their Libraries account in good standing to borrow technology. Community and alumni patrons are not permitted to borrow technology, with the exception of the Digital Media Learning Lab collection which is primarily in lab use only. Education Media Center technology is funded by and limited to use by active College of Education affiliates only. Additional access information can be found on our technology collections webpage.

A limit of only one of each item (video camera, tripod, charger, etc.) may be borrowed per account. Technology reservations are highly recommended and may be submitted online or at the item’s affiliated service desk. Please note we will do our best to fulfill reservations, but due to demand they are not guaranteed. Technology reservations will be confirmed via email up to one day in advance of the request. All technology not reserved is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Select items require an appointment to checkout. See our technology collection pages for specific items and appointment instructions.

All technology must be returned to its affiliated service desk before it closes on the assigned due date. Patrons are expected to note hours of operation for their due date and should not return technology to an unattended service desk. Technology cannot be renewed, and to prevent monopolization of materials, the Libraries may invoke a one day wait period before allowing a borrower to check out the same item type again.

Items must be returned in the same condition they were borrowed. Users are responsible for any damage and/or loss or theft of technology items checked out on their account. Users are expected to report any problems experienced with technology during their borrowing period. Items returned missing pieces will remain checked out to the user until all pieces are returned. Users will be responsible for any late fees that accrue as a result. If the missing piece is lost, users should contact the affiliated service desk immediately to report the lost piece and discuss replacement options. If a technology item is 7 days overdue, it is considered lost or stolen, and the borrower will be charged for its replacement.

Patrons are responsible for saving their work and erasing all sensitive data before returning technology. The Libraries will take reasonable steps to erase any remaining images, videos, files, and browsing history, but these may be viewed during the process. Library technology is intended for Clemson University related use. Use of library technology is subject to the rules and laws of the state of South Carolina and the applicable policies of Clemson University. Images or videos containing illegal activity found on devices will be turned over to University Police.

Abuse of technology circulation policies will result in the suspension of technology borrowing privileges. Suspension periods range from one month to permanently and will be considered on a case-by-case basis at the discretion of the Library Managers.

Resource Sharing

Information about Interlibrary Loan and PASCAL items is included in the Loan Periods, Renewals, and Recalls and Borrowing Privileges policy sections. Items from the Clemson Design Center in Charleston are not available for resource sharing requests.

Interlibrary Loan policies provide access to materials from libraries worldwide to Clemson University faculty, staff, and students. This service also enables access to the holdings of the Clemson University Libraries to libraries nationally and internationally.

Off Campus Services

Clemson University has a large number of faculty, staff, and students involved in coursework, research, and special programs located off the main campus. These patrons are eligible for scan and deliver, off-campus delivery, research, instruction, course reserve, and digital scholarship and publishing services as well as 24/7 additional assistance at Ask a Librarian.

Course Reserves

Clemson Libraries offer instructors electronic and physical Course Reserve services for the purpose of providing access to materials for student use in current courses being taught at Clemson University. Eligible materials include those owned by the Libraries or the instructor. Submissions are accepted any time during the semester and will be removed at the semester’s end unless otherwise requested.

Physical Reserves may include books, DVDs, CDs, class notes, sample tests, manuals, or items that require inspection or study. All print or physical materials must be either library owned or belong to the instructor. Books or articles borrowed from other libraries through Interlibrary Loan or PASCAL Delivers may not be placed on reserve. In addition, course packs cannot be placed in Course Reserves. Physical reserves may be placed at any of the following locations: Cooper Library, Gunnin Architecture Library, or Education Media Center. Loan periods are set at the request of the instructor or based on the need for access to the material. Some materials may be restricted to Library Use Only. Students must have a valid Clemson ID to checkout reserve materials and all materials are subject to Libraries’ overdue and fine policies.

eReserves may include links to articles, ebooks, streaming films and media, and open educational resources. eReserves are accessible through an eReserves website, which is linked to individual classes within the University’s course management system. All materials placed on eReserves must be initiated by instructors solely for the non-commercial, educational use of students within the guidelines of U.S. copyright law. eReserves materials are password protected and can only be accessed by students enrolled in the course for which course-related materials are placed.

Materials in the library collections may be subject to copyright restrictions. If the Library holds an electronic copy of the article or book you would like to use in your course, we will provide a link to the material so that students may access it through the Libraries collections rather than reproducing the material in the course management system.

If the Library does not hold an electronic copy of the resource, we will attempt to find and purchase a suitable electronic resource or place the item on physical reserves. If no electronic copy is available, and physical reserve is inadequate, instructors may consider whether or not the use is considered a “fair use” or, whether permission can be obtained from the publisher to include the resource in eReserves. Instructors are expected to comply with all copyright guidelines, including fair use, and maintain any relevant records relating to the use of protected materials.

The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the use of copyrighted materials including copying and distributing. Fair use (Section 107) allows for limited use of copyrighted materials without the permission of the copyright owner. Not all educational uses of library materials are considered fair uses, and in some cases, permission to use materials must be obtained from the publisher. Clemson University Libraries comply with all copyright laws and expects all instructors using library resources to understand and follow all appropriate copyright laws. Instructors who wish to rely on the fair use of copyright protected materials are encouraged to perform a fair use analysis and retain it for their records. More information on fair use may be found here:

Non-Circulating Materials

Non-circulating materials may be checked out or used for Course Reserves, Document Delivery, or Interlibrary Loan on a case-by-case basis at the discretion of the item’s affiliated librarian, library manager, or unit head. Users should inquire about borrowing non-circulating materials at the affiliated service desk.

Proxy Privileges

Clemson University faculty, staff, or any student with a disability may authorize another individual to use his or her library card. Those who are designated are considered proxy borrowers and may pick up materials that are reserved for the individual for whose account they are a proxy.

Patrons eligible to be designated for proxy borrowing privileges include: any Clemson University faculty or staff member, any Clemson University student, and family members of Clemson University staff, faculty, or students.

  • Items available for pickup include PASCAL items, Interlibrary Loan items, and materials that are part of the Clemson Libraries collection.
  • Faculty/staff and students who authorize another individual for proxy are responsible for any item picked up by that proxy. This includes: responding to overdue or recall notices, returning or renewing materials on time, and paying replacement bills for any lost or damaged item.
  • The period of proxy authorization may be any length of time up to one year, and may be renewed annually upon request. Requests can be made online. An email confirmation of proxy privileges will be sent to the requesting faculty/staff member or student when the request is processed.
  • Proxy privileges may be revoked at any time. Privileges may be revoked in person at any library branch desk, over the phone, or by email at the following address: An email confirmation of revoked privileges will be sent to the requesting faculty/staff member or student when the request is processed.
  • Proxy borrowers must inform library branch desks that they are authorized to pick up items as proxy at the time of checkout. An ID will be required.

Community and Alumni

Clemson Libraries assigns its highest priority for circulation to current Clemson University students, faculty, and staff. However, Clemson University serves as the land-grant university for the state of South Carolina, and free circulation privileges are extended to residents of the state as well as other approved patrons.

These patrons are referred to as community patrons and include:

  • Clemson University Alumni
  • South Carolina residents 16 years or older
  • Family members of Clemson employees 12 years and older
  • Faculty, researchers, and students from other SC colleges and universities
  • Corporate clients

Additional group circulation privileges can be negotiated between Clemson University Libraries and other institutions such as colleges, universities, organizations, businesses and state or federal agencies. The Libraries may also negotiate privileges with other individuals who are interested in expanded services.

Each community patron must supply appropriate identification and address information to obtain a borrowing privilege card, and family members applying for privileges must be accompanied by the active University employee. Most community patrons are provided borrowing cards by the Libraries at our service desk locations. Clemson University special program participants are coordinated through the appropriate office, college, or department, and retired faculty and staff are provided borrowing cards through the Tiger1 Office. Clemson University policy states: “This card is the property of Clemson University. It should be carried at all times and presented upon request to any University official. This card is not transferable.”

All community patrons are responsible for replacement costs for lost materials. The Libraries reserve the right to refuse borrowing privileges to any courtesy patron delinquent in returning books and/or habitual in overdues.


To ensure maximum availability of materials, the library collects fees from patrons who do not return items within the prescribed loan period. University approved replacement rates will be applied for all late, damaged, and lost materials, and all payments must be submitted online as directed in overdue and replacement Libraries communications. Any patron owing more than $20.00 in Clemson University Libraries fees will not be allowed to borrow materials until the debt is settled.

All patrons are responsible for replacement costs if materials are not returned. The date shown when logged into My Account indicates the assigned due date for each item. Items returned to the Libraries after hours or during closed holiday periods are considered to be returned on the previous open date. Items returned to remote book depositories are considered to be returned on the last date emptied.

All patrons are financially responsible for lost or damaged materials. Materials cannot be purchased from the library. Regardless of whether replacement or payment has been made for an item, it remains the property of the university. Any person who has falsely claimed to have lost materials simply to retain possession can be charged for illegally possessing state property.

Patrons receive four overdue notice communications. All patrons with materials which are thirty (30) days overdue receive a final bill for the replacement cost. In cases where a patron offers to replace the item directly, he/she must purchase an item of the same edition or later. He/she must also pay any extra fees associated with the item (such as a binding fee if a paperback is substituted for a hard-bound) plus the processing fee.

Because they come with special processing, popular reading materials are treated as exceptions and cannot be replaced by the patron. Borrowing privileges are blocked until the debt is satisfied. In the case of audiobooks, the Libraries reserve the right to order a similar piece in the subject area as a replacement. If returned within six months, all fees (except overdue fines) will be refunded. After six months, no refunds are issued. When a replacement is not available for an audiobook, the average cost will be used for that subject area or call number.

Student debts of more than $3.00 are periodically submitted to Clemson University Receivables for collection. Employee and community patron bills are periodically submitted to an external collection agency, for which additional collection fees may be assessed by the Libraries’ and/or the University Business Affairs Office.


Patrons receive all notifications through electronic mail or if an email address is not given, through regular U.S. mail. Students, faculty, and staff have the capability to change address information at Community patrons should contact the Libraries to update contact information.

Account Privacy

The Libraries’ patron database contains the names of authorized patrons, which may include current and historical students, employees, and community borrowers. The Confidential Library Records Act (South Carolina Code of Law 60-4-10) that was passed by the South Carolina Legislature and signed by the Governor on May 22, 1985 states that it is unlawful to disclose Library records “which by themselves or when examined with other public records would reveal the identity of the library patron checking out or requesting an item from the library or using other library services.”

However the records of materials you borrow or use can be disclosed to persons acting within the scope of their duties in the administration of the library or library system; persons authorized, in writing, by the library patron to inspect their personal records; in accordance with proper judicial order; or in compliance with the USA PATRIOT (Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism) Act of 2001 (PL 107-56) regarding terrorist activities.

Reviewed/Revised: Approved by LLT June 2022